Cryptocurrency is anathema in China, but that hasn’t stopped multinational corporations in the country from delving into developing robust blockchain technology solutions. Major Chinese conglomerates have submitted multiple blockchain-related patents in a bid to increase their sphere of influence in the emerging technology.
Ahead of the US in Blockchain Patent Applications
Such is the extent of China’s extensive blockchain technology drive that it ended up filing more blockchain patent applications than the United States. According to Thomson Reuters, Baidu and Tencent Holdings alone accounted for about 56 percent of the over 400 blockchain patent filings in 2017.
Alibaba, another prominent Chinese conglomerate, reportedly holds over 10 percent of the global patent filings in the distributed ledger niche. As a result, China has surpassed U.S. figures, at least on an annual basis, even though the latter still holds the lead when viewed cumulatively.
Speaking to the Nikkei Asian Review, John Eastwood, a technology and intellectual property rights lawyer, said:
Blockchain is a new technological landscape where it could be very profitable for Chinese companies to grab significant territory in their patent claim language. Holding several patents helps to give an aura of legitimacy that helps many companies in the blockchain field to attract investors or acquirers.
Food traceability is one of the areas of application in which the emerging technology is being tested. Across the globe, there is a growing need to ensure a more robust supply chain for agricultural produce to eliminate counterfeit food items.
Recently, an Alibaba subsidiary signed an agreement with a local Chinese municipality to use blockchain technology in the area’s rice production. The partnership involves developing a decentralized technology matrix for a robust rice traceability service. The move is seen as a way of combating counterfeit rice in an area well known for quality rice. The distribution of counterfeit rice has severely impacted the income of local farmers, as well as the credibility of the municipality’s government.
Blockchain, Not Bitcoin
China’s apparent dominance in the blockchain sphere comes as the government finds more ways to enhance its crackdown on cryptocurrency commerce. Recently, the government has also been plugging several loopholes in its fight against cryptocurrency.
While the crypto crackdown continues, Chinese firms are also utilizing the underlying technology to provide solutions to numerous pain points across business and government administrative functions. In May, Tencent Holdings also debuted a blockchain-based initiative targeted at combating fake invoices in the city of Shenzhen.
What do you think about Chinese multinational corporations striving to develop robust blockchain technology solutions? Keep the conversation going in the comment section below.
Images courtesy of Nikkei Asian Review and Shutterstock.